Wimbledon | Ladies Doubles final set for Sunday

The Ladies Doubles final was determined on No 1 Court on Friday, when Australia’s Storm Hunter & Elise Mertens from Belgium dispatched American Caroline Dolehide & Zhang Shuai from China, and Czech Barbora Strycova & Hsieh Su-Wei from Taiwan defeated Czech Marie Bouzkova & Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain, both matches in straight sets.

It’s been a lot of fun. We’re still continually working on our games together. It’s nice to have a consistent partner that we can kind of work together towards these goals. She’s someone that’s had a lot of experience. She’s won Grand Slams, she’s been world No.1 in doubles. So just using her to help me as well, and believe in myself in those moments – that’s been really great. Storm Hunter

Hunter & Mertens, who are the No 3 seeds, easily dismissed the unseeded pair of Dolehide & Zhang, 6-1 6-1, and have, in fact, had a charmed route to the final, having stormed through the doubles draw and losing no more than 3 games in a single match.

They also benefitted from a mid-match retirement by Romania’s Irina-Camilia Begu & Anhelina Kalinina from Ukraine, and a 3rd-round walkover given by the Czech pair, Miriam Kolodziejova & Marketa Vondrousova, the singles semi-finalist who decided to pull out from the doubles to save herself for her Last 4 meeting with Elina Svitolina, which took them into a quarter-final encounter with British wild-cards Naiktha Bains & Maia Lumsden.


Brits Naiktha Bains (L) & Maia Lumsden made it to the quarter-finals of the Ladies Doubles where they lost to Storm Hunter & Elise Mertens

© Patrick Smith/Getty Images

World No 173 Bains, a 25-year-old who formerly represented Australia, and World No 178 Lumsden, also 25, enjoyed a stunning career-best run at Wimbledon, having only recorded a single win each at Grand Slam-level prior to The Championships.

For starters, they upset 11th-seeded Anna Danilina & Xu Yifan in the 1st-round, edging past the Kazakh-Chinese pair, 3-6 7-6(3) 7-6(9), before moving on the defeat Poland’s Magda Linette & Bernarda Pera from America, 6-4 6-4.

To reach the quarters, Bains & Lumsden saw off Viktoria Hruncakova & Tereza Mihalikova, the Slovakian pair who had taken out Harriet Dart & Heather Watson, 1-6 6-2 6-4, in the 2nd-round, after the Brits had upset the No 6 seeds, Canada’s Leylah Fernandez & Taylor Townsend from the USA, 6-4 3-6 6-4, in their opener.

In the Last 8, though, Hunter & Mertens comprehensively got the better of Bains & Lumsden, 6-2 6-1.

The pair teamed up for the first time at the Australian Open in January, where they advanced to the quarter-finals, and then made Last 8 appearances at Indian Wells and Miami, before enjoying a title-winning run at the WTA 1000 event in Rome.

With 17 wins from their 22 matches together in 2023, their confidence as a team is growing.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Hunter said of their partnership on The AO Show podcast last week. “We’re still continually working on our games together. It’s nice to have a consistent partner that we can kind of work together towards these goals.

“She’s someone that’s had a lot of experience. She’s won Grand Slams, she’s been world No.1 in doubles. So just using her to help me as well, and believe in myself in those moments – that’s been really great.”


Barbora Strycova & Hsieh Su-Wei defeated Marie Bouzkova & Sara Sorribes Tormo to reach the Ladies Doubles final on Sunday

© Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Champions in 2019, Hsieh & Strycova surged into the final after dominating Bouzkova & Sorribes Tormo, 6-4 6-1, in their semi-final.

This is Strycova’s Wimbledon farewell, after the Czech has been balancing motherhood with tennis, and is making her retirement tour.

After initially retiring from competition to start her family in 2020, Strycova returned to competition for one last lap, and will hang up her racket after the US Open.

Hsieh also took a two-year break after the 2021 season to rest and heal her injuries.

The former World No 1s, who have each won 31 doubles titles, including 9 together as a team, reunited and returned to the tour earlier this spring in Madrid.

Their run to the semi-finals saw them defeat France’s Varvara Gracheva & Anna Blinkova from Russia, 6-1 6-2; Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova & Yang Zhaoxuan from China, 3-6 6-2 6-4; 13th-seeds Japan’s Miyu Kato & Aldila Sutjiadi from Indonesia, 7-5 7-6(4); and France’s Caroline Garcia & Luisa Stefani from Brazil, 7-6(5) 6-4.

To seal their fairytale run, Hsieh & Strycova have a tough task ahead of them, facing Hunter & Mertens for the title on Sunday, who are the favourites to lift the title after the Men’s Singles Final on Sunday.


On Friday both doubles semi-finals were played on No 1 Court with the roof closed because of persistent rain at Wimbledon

© Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

With the rain beating down outside, under the No 1 court roof, Hunter & Mertens, who have become a brilliant double act, broke serve 5 times on their way to wrapping up the easiest of victories in 55 minutes over Dolehide & Zhang.

They did not face a break point and conceded a total of 10 points on serve, maintaining their 100 per cent record in service games so far this fortnight.

Hunter is the World’s No 7 at doubles, which has long been her speciality while also trying to improve a singles career, and is the first Australian to appear in the women’s doubles final at Wimbledon since her compatriots and friends Ash Barty & Casey Dellacqua got beaten in 2013 by a different duo featuring Su-Wei Hsieh, who was partnered by China’s Peng Shuai that year.

On Sunday, the 37-year-old Hsieh, who is coached by Australian legend Paul McNamee, is on a 17-match winning streak at Wimbledon, and will be looking across the net to see the Mertens, whom she won the 2021 title alongside.



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